The future of work is complex according to WeWork CEO David Tolley

WeWork hosted its Q2’23 earnings call on Aug 9, 2023. Select highlights:

  • Interim CEO & Director David M. Tolley is engaged with employees to identify business opportunities.
  • Interacted directly with members and partners to understand strengths and areas of improvement.
  • Gained in-depth knowledge of recent financial and operational results.
  • Key Learnings: The future of work is complex and uncertain. Few companies want long-term, fixed-location leases due to unpredictability in employee needs. “Before I review our performance for the quarter, I’d like to share some perspectives on what I think I’ve learned over the last 2 months. Two things seem to be exceptionally clear. One, the future of work is complex, and two, even the most educated market observers and certainly none of us on this call know exactly how this is going to play out in the medium term.”
  • Received positive feedback: a prominent global media company praised WeWork for consistent quality and unmatched energy. “I recall one conversation with one of our larger members during an introductory meeting back in June. This was a large cap global media company who uses our services and those of some of our franchisees in perhaps a dozen locations around the world and they told me directly, we always use WeWork. The brand means something. We can count on consistent quality of service in each of your locations. And there’s something different about the energy you get when you walk into WeWork relative to another co-working space.”
  • Commercial office market is challenging: in the US hit a 30-year low in occupancy rates in Q2.
  • As of the end of June, WeWork had $680 million available. Recently used $175 million from a fund set aside for them.
  • Since Q4’19, exited or amended 590 leases, which resulted in an estimated reduction of $12.7 billion of fixed lease payments.
  • Q2 net loss of $397 million.